Rohingya refugees exhibit craftsmanship in Bangladesh

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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
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The event is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.
Updated 10 December 2018
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Rohingya refugees exhibit craftsmanship in Bangladesh

  • Sale proceeds will be given to Rohingya
  • UN described Myanmar military crackdown as ‘ethnic cleansing’

DHAKA: An exhibition showcasing handicrafts from members of the Rohingya community living in refugee camps was held in Bangladesh on Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya Muslim minority have arrived in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar last year triggered an exodus, straining resources in the impoverished country.

The event, jointly organized by the UNHCR and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is aimed at promoting a livelihood and craftsmanship of the displaced and distraught community.

“I learnt how to make different things out of bamboo from my mother when I was a child,” Khodeza Khatun told Arab News. The 27-year old, who lives in the Kutupalang refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, said her mother made household items from bamboo and sold them to neighbors.

“That little traditional craftsmanship from my  early age has opened a new avenue of my life through which I can now earn a little money, even in this camp life."

Many of those who fled Myanmar hailed from western Rakhine state, where the UN says the military carried out an ethnic cleansing operation against the Rohingya.

The Rohingya are widely regarded in Myanmar as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived there for generations.

“When I was in Rakhine, I used to prepare my own bamboo fishing baskets and some bamboo pots to use during the irrigation of my paddy field. The skill which I acquired from my elders has now become a source of inspiration for many of my fellow refugees in the camp,” said Jomir Hossain, 55, who also lives in the

Kutupalang refugee camp.

Almost two dozen men and women showcased their work, displaying baskets, bags and wall mats.

“We identified the Rohingya artisans and they produced the goods by themselves. We engaged an artist who worked with them and helped them improve the design,” Raquibul Amin, IUCN country manager, told Arab News.

He and his colleagues noticed the Rohingya’s craftsmanship while working on another project.

“We thought it would be very nice if we could show their talent to the humanitarian community in Cox’s Bazar. This recognition of their skill will be useful for the Rohingya people when they go back to their country,” he said.

The sale proceeds will be given back to the artisans but Amin said other humanitarian organizations could take up this idea to help improve the living standards of Rohingya refugees.  

“We don’t have enough scope to earn  here in the camp since we are not allowed to go out. But by preparing these handicrafts and selling them to the outside market, we can fight the poverty cycle to some extent,” said Hossain.

The UNHCR is also interested in  continuing its support for the Rohingya in this way.

“We will keep on finding talented men and women among the refugees and, at the same time, we will keep on finding markets for selling these goods through our partner organizations,” Fhiras Al-khateeb, UNHCR spokesman at Cox’s Bazar, told Arab News.


At least three dead in multiple shooting in Utrecht, police hunting Turkish-born man

Updated 16 min 39 sec ago
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At least three dead in multiple shooting in Utrecht, police hunting Turkish-born man

  • Police are not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive
  • ‘Threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province’

DUBAI: At least three people have been killed and five others injured in a shooting incident in Utrecht, in The Netherlands on Monday morning.

Dutch security forces were hunting for a 37-year-old Turkish man in connection with the incident, in what authorities said appeared to be a terrorist attack. The city's mayor confirmed the death of three people on Monday afternoon.

"At this stage, we can confirm three deaths and nine wounded, three of them seriously," Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said in a video statement on Twitter. The number of injured was later reduced to five.

"We are working on the principle that it was a terrorist attack," he added.

Police forces walk near a tram at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht, on March 18, 2019 where a shooting took place. (AFP/ANP)

Dozens of armed police plus canine units later surrounded a building a few hundred metres away, an AFP reporter at the scene said, but it was not clear if the gunman was inside.

Police said they believed a red Renault Clio had been carjacked around the time of the shooting and had been found abandoned later.

The Utrecht municipality said it advised "everyone to stay indoors until more is known, new incidents are not excluded," but this was withdrawn at around 4:30pm local time. The local hospital said it had set up a crisis centre. Tram traffic in the area was halted.

Emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht, on March 18, 2019 where a shooting took place. (AFP)

Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht province, schools were told to shut their doors and paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure, and also at mosques.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte convened crisis talks, saying he was deeply concerned about the incident.

Utrecht Police tweeted an image of a man named Gökmen Tanis, asking people for information on him in connection with the incident — but warned members of the public not to approach him.

The main counterterrorism unit in The Netherlands, the  National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), told the Dutch public broadcaster that the incident had all the characteristics of a terrorist attack.

Counter-terrorism forces have surrounded a building where the gunman may be located, local broadcaster NOS News reported.

There was gunfire at several locations in the city, the Dutch national counter-terrorism chief said.

“Shooting took place this morning at several locations in Utrecht,” Dutch anti-terror coordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference in The Hague. “A major police operation is under way to arrest the gunman.”

Aalbersberg said in a statement that the “threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province,” referring to the highest level. 

“The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded,” he said in a Twitter message. He called on citizens to closely follow the indications of the local police. 

Police spokesman Bernhard Jens did not exclude more people might be involved. 

“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

A hotline to address queries about the situation. The Netherlands has one of the strictest gun laws and ownership is limited to law enforcement, hunters and target shooters.

Local media reports have said counter-terrorism police were seen at the scene.

“Shooting incident... Several injured people reported. Assistance started,” the Utrecht police Twitter account said. “It is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma helicopters have been deployed to provide help.”

The 24 Oktoberplein is a busy Utrecht traffic junction, with a tram stop. Tram traffic was temporarily stopped due to the incident, but the trams are currently running again between Zuilenstein, Nieuwegein and IJsselstein.

(With AFP and Reuters)